Spring Cleaning Social Media

Believe it or not, when searching through potential job candidates, employers do check personal social media accounts. Regardless of if you have an award-winning resume or stellar references, unprofessional social media posts could be the deciding factor between being hired or not. We’ve compiled some tips for cleaning up your social media, hopefully helping you turn it from personal to professional.

Facebook:

With both personal posts and photos available for perusing, Facebook is a great place to start your spring social media cleaning. First impressions are important, meaning the first things employers will see when reviewing your profile is your profile picture and cover photo. Go through these images, deleting anything an employer would find unprofessional: photos showing alcohol, various stages of undress, inappropriate gestures, and offensive terms or slurs in comments should be deleted. Next, visit the privacy page located under settings. Facebook’s privacy settings let you customize who can see your posts. The default setting is that everyone, regardless of if they are your friends on Facebook or not, can see what you post. We recommend changing this setting to “Only Friends”, meaning only your friends on Facebook can see your posts. Chances are, employers will not be your friends on Facebook during the job search, nor will they add you. Next, review your Activity Log. All activity on Facebook is compiled here; take a while to go through these posts, deleting anything inappropriate.

Twitter:

Like Facebook, Twitter accounts have a profile picture and cover photo. Make sure these pictures are appropriate. If they’re not, change them. Though it may be a tedious process, personal tweets could contain compromising content. Take the time to check for and delete any unsuitable tweets, including those with bad language or crude images.

LinkedIn:

Because of its professional nature, LinkedIn is much easier to monitor than Facebook and Twitter. However, to reach your maximum professional potential on Linkedin, it’s important to make sure your information and job experiences are up to date. Exercise some self restraint on what you post, however. There’s no need to post every job and skill you’ve ever had, rather list the most important and recent ones. Consider using a headshot for your profile picture. If you don’t have one, it may be a good idea to have one taken professionally. If you decide that you would rather take one yourself, make sure it is done well. Dress to impress, stand in a well lit area against a solid colored background, and ask a friend to photograph you from the shoulders up.

5 Tips for a Great Social Profile Photo

 

When you’re searching for a job, you can be sure that at some point, a potential employer will check out your social profiles. In fact, they may even find you and contact you through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other social sites.

That being said, it’s important to take a careful look at your profile photos. We’ve all heard cautionary tales about what not to do – don’t use a profile pic of you doing a keg stand at a frat party, for instance. But what makes a good one? Here are some tips.

Actually HAVE A Profile Photo
For some reason, be it laziness, shyness, or privacy concerns, some people forego a profile photo altogether. This can be a big mistake when searching for a job. Don’t believe me? Look at this eye-tracking heatmap and notice what recruiters look at first and for the longest period of time on your LinkedIn profile.

Let Them See the Whites of Your Eyes
Your face should be clearly and prominently featured. Avoid photos taken from a distance, and if it’s a shot of your entire body, crop it to show yourself only from the shoulders up.

Quality Counts
Your profile photo doesn’t have to be taken by a professional, but it should look like it was. Don’t use photos that are blurry, grainy, or too dark. Also, don’t use trendy filters. They may be fun to experiment with on Instagram, but they don’t look professional for a profile photo.

One at a Time, Please
Your profile photo should show you, and only you. Don’t use the photo of you and your boyfriend on your last vacation, or you in the middle of a big group. It may be possible in some cases to crop yourself out neatly, but most of the time you’ll end up with an arm or a shoulder or some other odd body part in the frame.

Keep It Simple
If possible, your photo should be taken against a solid background. Your face shouldn’t be competing against floral wallpaper or the clutter in your home office.

It you don’t already have a suitable photo for your social profiles, it only takes a minute to have a friend snap a quick pic that will work. If you need tips on profile photos or any other aspect of your job search, please contact us – we’d love to help!

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